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Mo Garkani Elected President Of GCLA

Martin Romjue
Posted on December 6, 2017

2018 GCLA President Mo Garkani and 1st VP Harry Dhillon at the annual meeting Dec. 5, 2017 in Los Angeles (LCT photos by Martin Romjue)
2018 GCLA President Mo Garkani and 1st VP Harry Dhillon at the annual meeting Dec. 5, 2017 in Los Angeles (LCT photos by Martin Romjue)
LOS ANGELES --- The life of the trade show party now leads the state association leading the fight for the livelihoods of California operators.

Longtime industry supporter Mo Garkani, owner and CEO of the Long Beach-based C.O.T.S. Group and Continental Limousine, was elected 2018 president of the Greater California Livery Association on Dec. 5. GCLA members elected Garkani, officers, and board directors leading up to the group's annual meeting and holiday social event held at the LAX Marriott, which drew about 200 members and guests and was up from 170 attendees last year.

Already a board member for many years, Garkani has built up a long staple of industry contacts and friends over three decades. He took his company from a two-car operation in the late-1980s that drove home drunk night clubbers to a 140-vehicle Southern California chauffeured service in four locations.

During his industry career, Garkani has bought 29 smaller limousine companies over 28 years to assemble an operation with locations in Long Beach, Inglewood, Newport Beach, and Oceanside. The outgoing, effusive entrepreneur also has been a fixture at industry trade shows and conferences, where his antics, charm, and humor have entertained colleagues for years.

His experiences and perspective as an operator and owning partner of several restaurants will no doubt inform his leadership on a busy roster of challenges and issues facing the industry in California, the state with the most chauffeured transportation operators in the U.S.

GCLA 2018 board of directors and officers (L to R): Perry Barin, Selim Aslan, Darren Croasdale, Carlos Garcia, David Kinney, Mo Garkani, Harry Dhillon, Robert Gaskill, Jeff Brodsly, Phil Hartz, Maurice Brewster, and Chris Hundley. (Click photo to enlarge)
GCLA 2018 board of directors and officers (L to R): Perry Barin, Selim Aslan, Darren Croasdale, Carlos Garcia, David Kinney, Mo Garkani, Harry Dhillon, Robert Gaskill, Jeff Brodsly, Phil Hartz, Maurice Brewster, and Chris Hundley. (Click photo to enlarge)
Helping Garkani lead the GCLA is a new slate of officers also elected Dec. 5: First Vice President Harry Dhillon, CEO of Ecko Transportation Worldwide in San Jose; Second Vice President Jeff Brodsly, CEO of Chosen Payments; Treasurer David Kinney, CEO of API Global Transportation in Sacramento; and Secretary Darren Croasdale of La Costa Limousine in Carlsbad.

Also elected to the GCLA board of directors: Maurice Brewster of Mosaic Global Transportation in Redwood City; Gary Bauer of Bauer's Intelligent Transportation in San Francisco; Pat O'Brien, an attorney and Panama operator based in Petaluma; Perry Barin, operations manager at Music Express in Burbank; Carlos Garcia, owner of Carlos Transportation Services in Los Angeles; Robert Gaskill, owner of Motev in Los Angeles; Chris Hundley, owner of Limousine Connection in North Hollywood; Phil Hartz, co-owner and co-CEO of Acton/SoCal Penske Professional Vehicles; Steve Wood, livery sales manager at South Bay Ford Lincoln; Kevin Illingworth, owner of Classique Limousine in Orange and a board director representing the Western district for the National Limousine Assocaition; and Selim Aslan, co-owner and CEO of MIB Transportation in San Diego.

In an interview with LCT last week, Garkani said he wants to focus on countering the effects of the state's aggressive minimum wage law which will gradually raise it from the current $10.50 per hour to $15 per hour in 2022. Those increases would hit small business like limousine operations very hard, he said.

The GCLA will also be working on the following issues according to a recent update:

On Oct. 24, current GCLA President Dave Kinney and Lobbyist Gregg Cook met with Nick Zanjani, Director of the CPUC’s Consumer Protection and Enforcement Division, to discuss transportation industry-related issues and priorities for 2018.
The GCLA encouraged the CPUC to move forward on three specific issues:

1. Increase enforcement staff: The GCLA pressed Zanjani to seek further authority to fund additional positions focused on enforcement actions for existing and illegal operators including initiating string operations, impounding vehicles, and arresting illegal operators. An account paid in by operators and TNC companies now exceeds $20 million. The GCLA is asking these funds be used to hire additional enforcement and administrative CPUC staff.
 
2. Complete the online administrative portal: Asked that the CPUC continue to focus on the completion of the online web portal to allow operators to complete administrative tasks online. The portal would allow operators to add or delete vehicles, submit renewal documentation, and perform other administrative tasks online. The PUC stated the eFast platform will be completed shortly and the Transportation Carrier Portal will begin development in the near future. The completion of this system redesign will take at least 18 months, but the finished product will increase the speed and ease of working with the CPUC.
 
3. Improve administrative support and policy implementation: GCLA reviewed some the current servicing challenges the industry is experiencing when interacting with the CPUC; asked for clarification on the changes to the PUCTRA quarterly reporting form regarding farm out revenue and fee paid statements; asked for simplified procedures when operators changed business entities (LLCs changing to S or C corps).

The GCLA's next big event will be its annual Lobbying Day in Sacramento in late February which involves multiple visits and appointments with state legistators at the State Capitol.

Related Topics: California operators, California Public Utilities Commission, Chris Hundley, David Kinney, election, Gary Bauer, Greater California Livery Association, Gregg Cook, industry leaders, Jeff Brodsly, Kevin Illingworth, limo associations, Maurice Brewster, Mo Garkani, Perry Barin, Phillip Hartz, regulatory enforcement, state regulations

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